New Avalon CD Paris

Paris! Avalon’s new CD

Avalon Jazz Band’s new CD is brewing, we’re salting and spicing up the sauce with love and care, very excited to present this new repertoire of tunes dedicated to Paris, our beloved City of Lights! In addition to the usual cast of excellent musicians, we have two very special guests featured in this CD: Sara L’Abriola on guitar and Roberto Gervasi on accordion. Sara L’Abriola is a young guitar prodigy who is becoming quite a sensation in the Gypsy jazz scene. At her very green age she has already played with the likes of Stochelo Rosenberg and Stephane Wrembel, notably at the Django A Gogo 2017 festival at Carnegie Hall. Her playing is light and dreamy, with the quick-witted charm and cheeky spirit that embodies the essence of the Parisian je-ne-sais-quoi. Roberto Gervasi is a Sicilian accordionist from Palermo that we met last winter and instantly fell in love with (musically). His style of playing mixes the nostalgia and innocence of the jazz age, the debonair refinement of the Parisian 1930s and the sharp and stylish virtuosity of the bebop era.

The new repertoire will include only songs about Paris, but not the ones you expect. We’ve heard the same old tunes over and over again, but there are so many hidden gems that deserve a brand new life. These are the ones we selected! The lesser known works of famous authors such as Charles Trenet, Boris Vian, Henri Salvador, Paul Miraki, Joseph Kosma and more. This is sure to be a treat for all lovers of Paris and French jazz. Coming out in September!

jazz centennial 2017

Celebrating the Jazz Centennial

Hot Jazz Hands! On February 26th, we celebrated the centennial of the beginning of the Jazz Age with the recording of “Livery Stable Blues” by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in front of where it happened exactly 100 years ago, at the former studios of Victor Talking Machine Company on 46 W 38th St. What a company! DJ Michael Cumella played the record that started it all on his beautiful antique phonograph, while Tatiana Eva-Marie danced around with Don Spiro of Wits End and Miss Art Deco 2016 Dandy Dillinger, of The Repeal Society. This commemoration was organized by Michael Katsobashvili, the creator of the New York Hot Jazz Festival. (Photo credit Nina Galicheva)

The Original Dixieland Jass Band was fronted by cornetist Nick LaRocca, with Eddie Edwards on trombone, Larry Shields on clarinet, Henry Ragas on piano, and Tony Sbarbaro on drums. They had just picked up a steady gig at Reisenweber’s Café, near Columbus Circle, where Jazz at Lincoln Center is now located! They were an immediate sensation and their record selled like hot cakes: nearly every person who owned a phonograph in 1917 owned that record. This rowdy recording of instruments imitating barnyard animals over loud and fast syncopated music heralded in what we now call the Jazz Age.

mississippi jazz cruise

Mississippi Cruise

We were invited to perform aboard The Louisiane, a new vintage style cruise ship that lazily sails up and down the Mississippi River. This was particularly exciting because it was our first time going down to New Orleans! The amount of music pouring out of every street corner is absolutely intoxicating, even more so than the constant presence of alcoholic beverages. After a few days exploring the city and listening to music in the French Quarter at the Spotted Cat and other venues that caught our fancy, we boarded the beautiful river boat for a few days of southern bliss on the muddy waters of the Mississippi.

mississippi the louisiane

And what a magnificent boat it is! It really is like stepping back in time, tastefully decorated and displaying the old southern charm that haunts our romantic imaginations. On board, there was another jazz band, fronted by jazz singer Barbara Rosene, who all happened to enjoy scotch whiskey just as much as we do, so it was an immediate perfect match. Our guest singer for this series of performances was New Orleans native Sasha Masakowski, who is one of the finest young singers currently on the New York jazz scene and collaborates with Avalon Jazz Band and Tatiana Eva-Marie on various delightful projects. We will be back on The Louisiane in March, so don’t hesitate and book your tickets now!

mad men premiere jazz band los angeles

Mad Men Premiere

MadMenhorizontalAvalon Jazz Band was invited to perform at the Los Angeles Mad Men premiere for the opening of their last season. We were the New York jazz band touch of the evening with a great musician lineup: Adrien Chevalier on violin, Gordon Webster on piano, Brandi Disterheft on bass, Andreas Svendsen on drums and Danny Lipsitz on saxophone, who also ravished the crowd with his cool rock’n’roll rendition of Heartbreak Hotel and Johnny B. Goode. Avalon’s lovely vocalist Tatiana Eva-Marie switched her repertoire up a bit to include 50’s and 60’s classics like My Guy, You Only Live Twice, Sugar Town and of course the unforgettable Zou Bisou Bisou, featured in Mad Men season 5, sung by the sexy-eyed Mrs Draper number 2, portrayed by Canadian actress Jessica Paré.

The evening was a lot of fun and we were very happy to have this opportunity to drink cocktails, play good music and bump into movie stars. Ah, Hollywood.

maison kayser new york

Maison Kayser in NYC!

jazz band new yorkOur favorite bakery is finally expanding to the American market! Maison Kayser opened a new location on the Upper West Side and Avalon Jazz Band was invited to pair the bread and pastry tasting with some French Jazz. We are particularly excited about Maison Kayser gaining in popularity because, as French expats, we are often disappointed about the quality of bread away from home and the presence of Eric Kayser‘s passion and savoir-faire solves everything. We share similar values in that we believe in tradition and come from similar backgrounds, except that we put our passion in music while he puts it in bread. It was indeed an honor to perform for him and celebrate his success, as we’ve been great fans ever since the very humble beginning of his floury adventure. The composers and performers we admire from the history of French Jazz, such as Charles Trenet, Yves Montand, Django Reinhardt, were what we call “bon-vivants”, people who enjoy life and especially its simple pleasures: food and drink!

The cherry on the cake for us is that we went home with many wonderful gifts: croissants, pains au chocolat, brioches, baguettes, pains aux noix… absolute bliss! Tatiana Eva-Marie recommends the hot chocolate and the financier.

Chanel Rainbow Room Jazz Band

French Jazz for Chanel

Tatiana Eva-Marie Avalon Jazz BandAvalon Jazz Band returned to the Rainbow Room for the second time in the first week of its reopening! We could get used to this. This time it was to perform at a gala for Chanel Jewelry, at the great excitement of our singer Tatiana Eva-Marie, who got dressed, made up, manicured and bejeweled by the iconic brand. We were hired as the Avalon Big Band this time, with a whole bunch of amazing musicians: Gordon Webster on piano, Olli Soikkeli on guitar, Adrien Chevalier on violin, Julian Smith on bass, and in the brass section we had Jake Handelman on trombone and Adrian Cunningham on clarinet and saxophone.

Rainbow Room reopening gala

The Rainbow Room Opening Gala

Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band play for the Rainbow Room reopening galaAvalon Jazz Band had the pleasure of performing for the opening gala of the iconic Rainbow Room. It was a wonderful event and we were thrilled to be a part of it. Performing in the same place where Duke Ellington and so many legendary musicians played before us. It was a humbling and inspiring experience. We also felt very proud bringing French jazz, the music we love so much, to the audience of the gala. It is heartwarming to see that people are taking a new interest in old jazz and have a desire to reconnect in more human ways. We hope many dreamers will fall in love again while spinning on the Rainbow Room’s magic dance floor.

Above is a picture of our singer Tatiana Eva-Marie admiring the regal chandeliers of her favorite New York City landmark.

Bastille Day French Jazz New York

Bastille Day at Joe’s Pub

Avalon Jazz Band Joe's PubFor the National French Day, known as Le Quatorze Juillet in French and as “Bastille Day” in America, we had the great honor of presenting our new musical project “Do You Zazou?” for the first time, and in no other place but the renowned Joe’s Pub. This project is a tribute concert to the Zazous, the swing kids of wartime Paris who adopted swing as their lifestyle in a cry for freedom and expression of nonconformity. The repertoire consisted of exclusively French songs inspired by the Zazou spirit, including works by Charles Trenet, Joseph Kosma, Django Reinhardt, Pierre Dudan and Boris Vian, to mention just a few. These compositions convey the energy and aura of the great interpreters who first sang them, such as Juliette Gréco, Yves Montand, Magali Noel, Henri Salvador and Jean Sablon.

Avalon Jazz Band had a special guest from Finland, guitarist Olli Soikkeli, who complemented the manouche sound of violinist Adrien Chevalier. On the clarinet and saxophone we had Danny Lipsitz, on the guitar Tim Clement and on the bass Julian Smith. Tatiana Eva-Marie charmed the audience once again with her heartfelt interpretations. It was such a wonderful evening and we couldn’t have thought of any better way of spending Bastille Day and celebrating France, the country we hold so dear.

jazz band events new york

George Clooney’s Premiere

Yes, you heard us, we said George Clooney. Avalon Jazz Band was invited to give a special performance at the Metropolitan Club for the after party of “The Monuments Men” movie premiere, directed by George Clooney. Set during WWII, the movie tells the story of a special platoon sent to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves, because if art gets obliterated then “what are we fighting for?”, as Winston Churchill is believed to have once said. The 1940’s is Avalon Jazz Band’s specialty and Tatiana Eva Marie‘s favorite time period, so she was very excited to get the music and atmosphere exactly right for this one. The band was dressed as street swing kids with a Zazou attitude, inspired by Edith Piaf, Juliette Gréco and the photos of Robert Doisneau. We played French jazz standards famous at the time, mostly from the repertoire of Yves Montand, Django & Grappelli, Jean Sablon and Charles Trenet, and added some American standards as well (Cole Porter, George Gerschwin, Duke Ellington).

Tatiana Eva-Marie Jean DujardinIt was a swell party, everyone had a great time. It was fun to get to hang out with George Clooney, Bill Murray and especially the very handsome Jean Dujardin who came up on stage and did a duet with Tatiana Eva-Marie. Avalon Jazz Band also invited Clooney’s talented god-daughter jazz singer Nora Sagal to jam on stage, and she beautifully sang a few songs (The Lady is a Tramp, My Funny Valentine).

Tatiana Eva-Marie gazed at by Jean Dujardin in a very “The Artist” kind of way. (photo left)

Cafe Carlyle Hot Jazz

Hot Jazz at the Carlyle

Avalon Jazz Band was invited to perform during the late night Hot Jazz Series at the Carlyle. Needless to say we were all absolutely thrilled to play at such a prestigious venue… and we are all huge fans of Woody Allen, who performs there with the Eddy Davis band on a regular basis. We performed the repertoire we call “Tatiana’s Swing Caravan”, which is a musical tableau of Paris in the 1940’s, a fusion of Gypsy hot jazz, French & American swing and Eastern European influences. We were very glad to include Oran Etkin as our guest musician, featured on saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet. In the audience to support us were visual artist Syrie Moskowitz and socialite & jazz singer Cole Rumbough, with his family. We are very humbled to have such great artists as part of our regular fan base. Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band hopes to be back very soon for another fabulous night at the Carlyle!

Below is a great shot by Stephen Sorokoff for Broadway World (where you can see the entire photo coverage).

carlyleavalontatianaevamarie